Skogenby Banish conflict

I’ve searched through and this particular topic / question has cropped up more than once, but I don’t think it’s ever been officially answered:

What are Haathor-Vash’s Honor Guard doing when the players launch a Banish / Abjure conflict?

One post had the Gm decide a swirling tornado surrounded the conflict, preventing the skeletons from intervening, which is a nice idea. Another alternative that springs to mind is, with Haathor-Vash’s will focused on disrupting the ritual, the Honor Guard simply stand inert, the mystical force that impels them temporarily being withdrawn.

If the scenario didn’t explicitly state the Guardians are no use, I could easily see them being part of the action (trying to whack the PCs with rusty swords could certainly be interpreted as a Maneuver, undermining their ability to complete the ritual as they duck out of the way, or have holy water etc. knocked from their hands).

How have others interpreted this conflict in the narrative?

Supplementary questions: What about PCs outside of the conflict?

My group has a Dwarf and Fighter who may struggle to get involved in the conflict, because of their skills. I appreciate they could contribute using Beginner’s Luck or Nature, but that may actually be detrimental because if they’re in the team, they have to lead on actions at some point, and their skill levels will be dangerously low for Versus tests.

a) Can you can have a conflict which doesn’t include all PCs? I suspect you can, though rules don’t seem to say explicitly
b) If a= true, can PCs outside of the conflict help? I assume not: you can’t help if you’ve been knocked out of the Conflict, which suggests that if you’re excluded from the Conflict team, you similarly can’t help
c) If a=true, can a PC join the conflict mid-way through to provide Help (e.g. using a wise or Nature)?
d) if c=true, do you adjust Disposition (roll +1d for Help, -1 for Condition) or leave as was?

It would seem there is the perfect opportunity for a dual conflict here: Banish Haathor-Vash, Drive-off / Kill Honor Guard. But Luke strongly implies this is a no-no

Would really welcome thoughts and comments. I realise there may not be a single official answer, but I’d love to have some kind of steer…

A) Yes , you can have conflicts with any number of PCs. I think the text is explicit on this, saying anyone who is part of the disposition Roll is on the conflict. If you don’t want to be in, you opt out of that roll.

b) nope.
c) nope
d) not applicable.

Ideally, you want a cleric who can invoke Sanctuary of the Lord of Shields to go in there and perform the banishment.

Technically, the prayer can only be used on the cleric, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to add another set of factors:

Breadth (self is free): one other character (but not self), one other character, two other characters, party

I’m not sure it is explicit. There are bits that imply it (e.g. use “team members” instead of “characters”, “Anyone who participates in the conflict” implying there are some who may not), but no crystal clear statement along the lines of “Determine which characters are involved in the conflict. Characters not involved may not contribute in any way, including via Help or Wises”

Ideally, yes, but sadly for a party of 1st level adventurers, it’s not an option.